More QB Talk
So now we now that it will be Cleo Lemon starting on Sunday. But that's not very surprising to me. In fact, I've been hearing from various sources that Cam Cameron wanted to keep John Beck on the bench all year and let him learn. However, that changed when some of the veteran defensive players starting calling for Beck to play due to how well John was performing on the scout team. Then when he got the chance to split reps with Cleo, John was outperforming Cleo, making the calls for Beck even more distinct. I'm also hearing from sources that there may have very well been pressure put on Cam by upper management to start Beck rather than sit him down the entire season. And if that is the case, then it's very understandable as to why Cam has decided to go with Cleo. I may not personally agree with it, but I can now understand it better.
And very quickly, I just wanted to do a simple comparison of these 2 QBs and how efficient the Miami offense has been with each under center. For John, I've looked at his first 3 starts in terms of the number of drives and the total net yards. For Cleo, I've done the same, but only for those 3 games in which he didn't have the luxury of Ronnie Brown. After all, John didn't get that luxury, either. So the 3 games I've looked at for Cleo are the Giants game and the 2 Bills games. Here's what I got:
With John Beck under center, this offense has averaged 16 yards per drive with 18% of them ending in a QB turnover.
With Cleo Lemon under center, this offense has averaged 25 yards per drive with 16% of them ending in a QB turnover.
That's not too big of a difference when you take into consideration the fact that John is a true rookie while Cleo has been with Cameron for 3 or 4 years. But let's also take into consideration the fact that John hasn't had nearly the run support that Cleo has. When Cleo has been under center (in those 3 games w/o Ronnie), the Dolphins' running backs have ran for 96 yards per game. With John starting, the Dolphins' backs have ran for just 50 yards per game. If you break it down into drives, Cleo has gotten 9.2 yards per drive from the rushing attach while John has gotten just 4.5 yards per drive. So if you take into account the 4.7 yard difference in run support each QB gets per drive, then the difference between the two QBs is just 4.3 yards. That's not a very big difference at all. So is this team really better with Cleo under center? That's clearly debatable.
Here's one thing I am sure of. John, though he'll say all the right things in the media, is definitely not happy with how things have played out. I bet he'll have a big chip on his shoulder from now until the next time comes when he can prove himself. I'm sure he can't wait to prove himself the next time he takes the field, whenever that, to show Dolphin fans that he's better than what we've seen from him. And that's what I'm excited for, whenever that may be.
Offseason of Change?
This coming offseason is going to be a crucial one, and it has more to do than just having the #1 overall draft pick. Key decisions are going to be made. And the one rumor I wanted to chat about, which was pointed out by Neo in the diaries section, seems to actually have some legs. And that's the rumor that Wayne Huizenga may have actually had at least an informal talk with Marty Schottenheimer about whether or not he'd have any interest in the head coaching job. There was also a report that Wayne may have interest in current Falcons GM Rich McKay as a possible replacement for GM Randy Mueller. However, that one I haven't heard in any other place, so I'm not sure how much water that holds. The Marty rumor, however, I've heard from two separate sources. So that one seems to have more potential.
And if Marty was to come in here, the question would then have to be raised, "Who becomes the next offensive coordinator?" Would Marty try to keep Cam on as OC? He might. But would Cam accept? No one knows that answer, especially considering the Michigan rumor we've been hearing. The other intriguing option for an OC might be Brian Schottenheimer, Marty's son. Of course, a roadblock to that would be the fact that Brian's currently the OC for the Jets and since this job in Miami wouldn't be a promotion, the Jets would have to allow Brian to talk with Miami. And I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
But these rumors, however, don't mesh with the report in the Sun-Sentinel that claims Wayne believes in Cam, according to Wayne's son. Wayne Jr., who is a member of the Dolphins' board of directors, says that this season is "absolutely crushing" his father and "breaking his heart." However, Wayne Jr. believes that his father still trusts Cam and believes he can turn it around. Also in this article, Randy Mueller says that the support they've gotten from Wayne and team president Bryan Wiedmeier "has been awesome." So, at this point, I think it's clear that nobody really knows what the future holds.
But there will likely be more changes than just to the coaching staff. The Herald's Barry Jackson has some interesting tidbits about the future of some players. It seems the Dolphins have informed Rex Hadnot that they want to keep him, but they seem to be far apart in money. Hopefully money doesn't become an issue in getting this deal done. Hadnot is a valuable piece to this OL and is really that unit's vocal leader. I could see a 6 or 7 year deal worth around $5 million per year when all is said and done. And considering the Dolphins have the cap room, I'm all for that.
Jackson also talks a little about the wide receiver situation. He says that Marty Booker is basically gone. That makes sense, considering Booker will be entering the final year of his contract and is on the books for $4.3 million, all of which will be cleared if he is cut. The other WR question will be if the team sees Derek Hagan as a starter. Personally, I don't see how you can go into 2008 with Hagan as the starter opposite of Ted Ginn. With that said, I look for the Dolphins to sign one of the better free agent wide receivers. My #1 choice? Bernard Berrian. He's 6'1 and has great speed. Imagine Berrian and Ginn on the outside? I don't think many defensive coordinators would want to face those 2. Speed kills in this league and I would absolutely love to have Ginn and Berrian as my starting WRs.